Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bayosphere withering away

Sad to see that it's true, but Dan Gillmor's much-ballyhooed Bayosphere blogging community appears to be withering on the vine. How could that have happened? Some thoughts...

  1. was too much of a "walled community". I never "joined" since I resented having to "join" to begin with.
  2. It was too much like a constrained "community" than an open, free-wheeling blogging experience. Kind of like taking a butterfly and crushing it in your hand.
  3. I enjoyed reading Dan's old blog, but there was little of Dan to be found in the daily fare of Bayosphere.
  4. Restricting the stated area of interest to the San Francisco Bay Area definitely excluded a lot of people.
  5. The odd thing was that even with that narrowed focus, a lot of content was not specific to the Bay Area.
  6. Worse, on the occasions that I did visit Bayosphere hoping to read about the Bay Area, the daily fare was not about the Bay Area.
  7. So, the question was one of focus. In my view, it was too narrow, but didn't have the richness of content to energize the locals, or to attract outsiders who were interested in the locale. I mean, who isn't interest in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, "The Bay Area", Marin County, and all of that?
  8. Maybe there were two distinct focuses that never should have been combined: a) blogging by Bay Area locals, who may have common interests other than simply the locale, and b) blogging about the Bay Area itself, which includes people from around the world. They seem distinct focuses, to me.
  9. It appears that they never had a sound business plan, but simply some hopes and dreams.
  10. They should have done a zero-budget, zero-cost prototype to get the concept tested before pouring money in and rolling it out as a big deal. Maybe the problem was that since they had such an extreme focus on a walled "community" that they needed an expensive and constraining infrastructure that was too constrained to let the butterflies be as free as they need to be.

Question: Why not do a "" which is simply anybody with a blog who tags their blog as part of this new Bayosphere. Ala Technorati, register your blog, not your name and then Bayosphere 2.0 could simply be an aggregated web feed that aggregates all blogs (bloggers) that "join". The individual bloggers would own their own content and comments and categories, but the "community feed" would still have a sense of a community to it.

Maybe Technorati could do this and call it .

Once again, there is the question of focus: is Bayosphere 2.0 about the interests of the locals or about the locale?

In any case, I hope Dan keeps blogging away and tries some new, even bolder experiments in the months and years to come.

-- Jack Krupansky


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